In 2013, Jon Jost had been active for 50 years as a filmmaker. This led him to wonder whether there had been any point in it all, and Coming to Terms is the indirect answer to that question.
An old man (filmmaker James Benning) calls his broken family back together: his two sons with whom he hasn’t spoken for years, as he was unable to accept their choices in life, and their two mothers. While the sons and mothers wonder why they have been called together, the father prepares for their arrival.
Jost throws off traditional narrative conventions in order to penetrate to the emotional core of this meditation on death. The conversations between the family members, reproduced in unusual digital compositions, are juxtaposed with tranquil, deserted shots of houses and streets in an undefined American city. It gives the film a grand allure and ensures that the story is implicitly about the greater American family.